Are you all sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin …
I’m Sandra Simpson, and I will serve as your guide as we compose a 12-verse junicho (june-ee-cho, as in choke).
For the first verse – the hokku – poets in the southern hemisphere should offer summer verses and those in the northern hemisphere winter verses.
It is traditional that a renku opens with a verse set in the season of the moment. I am not suggesting that as a group we use a particular sajiki (book of season words) as I would prefer poets to use their own regional season words, wherever your region may be.
I would prefer that the name of the season is not used as a first line, eg:
A hokku is the only verse in a renku that may be cut and is, to all intents and purposes, a haiku.
A junicho is a bit looser and freer than longer forms of renku so the hokku may be a moon or blossom/flower verse, but it is certainly not obligatory to use either of them.
We are in the jo phase of the poem, which means a polite or mild tone.
All verse positions in this junicho will be degachi, that is competitive, and the final poem will comprise stanzas written by 12 different poets.
As our poem is so short we can approach it in a more leisurely fashion, so I would like to ask poets to submit only 3 candidate verses for each position, rather than using a “shotgun” approach and offering several versions of the same verse, plus others.
I will allow a week between each verse selection so you will have plenty of time to consider your submissions before making them.
To sum up, I am looking for:
- A 3-line poem
- A poem that contains a cut
- A poem that reflects the season you are in (summer/winter)
- A poem that may be a moon or blossom/flower verse but it causes no problems if it is not so please don’t feel you have to!
- A poem that is mild/pleasant in tone (jo phase).
Please enter your candidate verses in the Comments section below.
For information about junicho and renku, please refer to the Introduction post.